Date Adopted: April 27, 1981
Date Amended: January 12, 1987, July 14, 1984
The School District welcomes and encourages visits by parents and others
who desire to become informed regarding schools and educational programs.
Acceptable reasons for such visits include observation of significant programs,
participation in special events, and conferring with staff. The visit should
have legitimate purpose and not interfere with the continuity of instruction.
Classroom observation is encouraged to assist the visitor in developing
understanding of the school program; observation of a staff member to determine
his/her competency is reserved for the administrator.
The scope of authority of this policy and of school personnel who are responsible
for enforcing it is limited to buildings and grounds under the jurisdiction
or control of the School District of Philadelphia.
The provisions of this policy shall apply to all programs and activities
such as off-site locations or evening schools.
The term Visitor shall include all who are not employees, volunteers, or
students of the school.
The term Administrator shall include the Principal, the Principal's designee,
or any person assigned responsibility for the program.
The term Staff Member shall include any employee of the School District.
The Administrator has the right to refuse admission to the school for
any excessive number of visitors or to any who disregard the following:
Those wishing to visit a school shall make arrangements in advance with
the school office by stating reason, date, and time of the proposed visit.
In all cases where permission is not obtained in advance it must be obtained
promptly upon entering the school. No visitor may remain at a school without
the permission of the Administrator, but may appeal to the district superintendent
for reconsideration of the decision.
Prior to approval of the request, the administrator shall discuss the request
with the staff member involved. Should there be disagreement, the administrator's
decision shall prevail but the basis for that decision shall be first discussed
with the staff member.
Upon arrival at the school, the visitor must sign the Visitor's Register
in the school office where the visitor will be given instructions as well
as a Visitor's Pass or Identification Badge and, if necessary, provided
with an escort.
The staff member being visited shall require that the visitor present the
Visitor's Pass or Identification Badge.
Upon completion of the visit, the visitor shall return to the office to
return materials and enter departure time in the Visitor's Register.
Administrators shall have the right to adapt or set aside the above procedures
in event of special activities such as assembly programs, athletic events,
or musical performances.
5. Maintenance of Safety
No visitor shall be permitted to interrupt a staff member in the performance
of duties whether that interruption be for conversation or observation.
To minimize interruption to the instructional program and to ensure safety,
no visitor may confer with a teacher or student without the approval of
No visitor shall go directly to a classroom to deliver or "pick-up" students
or speak to teachers unless such visits have been approved previously by
the principal. Approval for taking a student from school shall be granted
only to a parent or guardian having custody unless that parent or guardian
gives explicit permission in writing to release the student to a designated
family member or adult.
Should an emergency require that a student be called to a school office
to meet a visitor, the Administrator shall be present throughout the meeting.
Appropriate portions of this policy statement shall be placed by the Administrator
in the School Handbook sent to parents.
6. Photography, Filming, or Videotaping in School District Buildings
The Administrator has the authority to exclude any visitor who is considered
to be disruptive or will cause disruption to the educational program, disturbing
to students or staff, or intent on committing an illegal act. Wherever
possible, the Administrator shall specifically indicate the circumstances
under which a parent may return.
There shall e posted at all entrances to schools, and at other appropriate
places, a copy of the City of Philadelphia Anti-Trespass Ordinance and
a copy of the School District Visitation Regulations.
All School District personnel, other than those assigned to the school,
must wear identification badges on outer clothing at all times during the
School staff who observe visitors without proper identification are to
report that information immediately to the school office.
The photographic reproduction of school programs, students or physical
plants by non-School District personnel is generally prohibited. Exceptions
may be made for:
a) the news media with approval of the Office of Communications, and
in accordance with School Operations Policy and Procedures 108.0 and 108.1.
All approvals are to be directly verified by the facility's Administrator.
b) educational purposes with the approval of the Offices for Curriculum
and Instruction where the program is of continuous duration, or School
Operations where the program is of limited duration.
c) commercial purposes only with the approval of the parents of any
students to be involved, School Operations and the Law Department.
d) other purposes not listed above only with the approval of School
Operations and the Law Department.
City of Philadelphia Ordinance "Unauthorized Entry on School Premises",
1971 and 19 P.S. Section 3503 Defiant Trespass.